On board, the teak is the most elegant accessory: a wood with extraordinary qualities, very durable and long-lived. A correct routine maintenance extends its life and makes it fascinating for a longer time, delaying the activities of deck refitting that becomes necessary after a long period of use.
A teak deck gives the boats greater charm and prestige, as long as it is well cared for, cleaned and maintained.
Almost all boats use teak in the deck and the reason is primarily aesthetic.
Furthermore, the teak has exceptional mechanical resistance and resistance to atmospheric agents. Despite being a rather porous wood, its fibers are impregnated with a special resin (whose oily nature is also perceived by touch). It is also a wood that can be easily processed and is not affected by temperature changes.
Ordinary maintenance of teak: some preacutions lengthen its life
Despite its longevity, the teak is not immune to problems of aging and wear deriving from life on board. It is subject to denting due to impacts necessary for falling objects or the application of concentrated loads on small surfaces. Moreover it suffers scratches and incisions, present for example from pebbles present under the soles of the shoes. Another enemy of teak is the oil stains caused by remains of food, sunscreen and drops of fuel that inevitably leave indelible traces on the surface of the wood. To avoid such problems, just take some precautions:
- check the sole of the shoes
- lay sheets or cardboards
- when working on deck make protections in case for example you load the outboard or the life raft on the bridge.
Another weak point of teak is that it suffers from sun rays with exposure to the sun. This oxidation phenomenon changes its color, making it become graying.
Despite the fact that some people do not mind this color which is still very natural, it would be good to cover the wood with awnings when the boat is moored. This protects the teak and prevents aging.
However, due to dirt and rain, the teak tends to darken. It is therefore necessary to wash the surface wisely and in a non-aggressive manner.
The washing must be carried out with a brush with dense bristles – but not too stiff – a neutral ph detergent, fresh or sea water if clean. It is also important not to rub in the direction of the veins: this would lead to scratching off the soft fibers and highlighting the hard ones. Instead, it is necessary to work at right angles to the wood fiber without scratching or consuming the surface, including the rubber features between the strips.
When is it time to renew teak?
Inevitably, despite the proper maintenance, the fatal moment arrives when you can no longer stand by to look at the ruined wood and you must decide to attend. All boats, whether small or Superyacht, sailing or motor, need to be renewed after a certain period of time. It may also be time to have recourse to extraordinary maintenance of your teak in the deck: you can need to remove the old rubber between the staves, sink and re-trim, close the screw heads, etc.
The Isola Bianca Shipyard in Olbia is available to evaluate together the jobs that will give life back to your teak.
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